“I’m really big into Top 40, mostly just because of the hooks,” says Elijah Witt, frontman for the metalcore turned nu-metal revival band Cane Hill. “The science behind it is really interesting, because it’s so simplistic, but so difficult to get a grasp of.”

The New Orleans-based four-piece grew to popularity in 2015 with their self-titled EP—a heavy collection of seven tracks that won them a Kerrang! Award—before revealing a grungier, more industrial side with their debut full-length, Smile, in 2016. Now, to follow up the success of their prior releases, Cane Hill have started to draw inspiration from pop music for their sophomore album, Too Far Gone, out via their home label of Rise Records on Jan. 19.

“All the hooks that we did, I’d sit down with a producer with an acoustic guitar, and we’d go through scales and try to pick out things that only had three or four notes on them,” Witt explains. “It’s mostly the idea of cutting out fat. That way, what we do put out, it’s singable, it’s catchy, and it’s something that you can immediately sing back to yourself after hearing it the first time.”

Though Witt derived a lot of his ideas from the structures of pop songs, fans won’t be hearing any Taylor Swift-esque jams on Too Far Gone. Citing the greats like Metallica, Alice In Chains, and Pantera as other major musical influences, Cane Hill created a powerful, true-to-genre metal record. “We went back to the early ‘90s and the late ‘80s,” Witt says. “[We] tried to steer away from anything that we listen to that’s modern so that we could put our own twist on it without being influenced by anything else that’s coming out nowadays.”

“We took all of the polarities of Smile and just stretched them,” he continues. “We just wanted to exploit ourselves as much as we could, because, as songwriters, we wanted to just push our limits. […] We matured as people, and we stopped doing any kind of gimmicks in our songs. There aren’t any things that I would consider tacky in this one, but when we look back at the last one, there are things that were a little bit edgy, a little bit angsty. We tried to steer away from that as much as we could.”

You won’t find anything on Too Far Gone like the Socker Bopper commercial sample from Smile’s “Strange Candy,” as the record’s core subject matter revolves around Witt’s reflection on his former self. “I think a lot of lyrical content comes from the past year of my life,” he notes. “When we put out Smile, a lot of the lyrics were about pushing your own physical limits and your emotional limits. There were a lot of songs that had to do with, like, living young and fast. I think I genuinely had convinced myself through a lot of really bad highs that I had to live on an edge and push myself over it to continue creating the music that I was creating. It was making me realize that there is, in fact, an end; there is a definite path of destruction you can go on with that, whether it’s self-destruction or destroying things around you.”

“[Too Far Gone] is mostly about understanding that you can fall into a deep hole that you don’t know you can get out of and kind of accepting that you are only human,” Witt continues, “that you have your own limitations, that the decisions you make affect your relationships that you have with other people and affect your personal well-being, and that you are as finite as anything else in the world.”

“My personal favorite [track] is ‘Why?’” Witt adds. “It’s our softest song, but it’s also my most emotional song that came from a pretty dark place mixed with a really happy place. […] I’m not the heaviest music person in the world, so I think that I genuinely love our softer side—not more, but in a much deeper way.”

Cane Hill will kick off 2018 with a European run before heading back to the U.S. to support Of Mice And Men on their Defy tour, which starts Feb. 1. “I don’t think we think too much about the future of the band in terms of where we’ll go,” Witt concludes. “We more just care about what we’re doing at the time, making sure that it’s the best we can do and that we’re just slaying it one day at a time.”

Purchase Too Far Gone here.

1 Comment

  1. I loved the album! Amazing in every aspect. ” Why? “Was a killer track. And “Erased”really hit home. Keep doing what you guys do. Forever a fan! Thank you dudes

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